Angelenos decry share of Prop. 1B

first_imgDISPUTE: Officials in L.A. and neighboring counties feel shortchanged on funds. SACRAMENTO – An aggressive push by Southern California lawmakers to grab more money for local trade projects was shot down Tuesday as a state transportation panel passed a plan that some said shortchanges the region’s desperate needs. A coalition of five Southern California counties had demanded up to 85 percent of $3 billion potentially available to improve trade corridors, arguing that’s how much state trade is handled by Los Angeles and Long Beach ports and Inland Empire distribution routes. But the California Transportation Commission rejected the arguments and instead awarded the region a little more than half. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles, decried the decision as a political compromise not based on merits. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“The proposal before you shortchanges the neediest areas of the state when it comes to goods movement,” he told the panel. Nu ez also threatened to have the Legislature consider overturning the decision when transportation funding is debated next year. “This in my view is not only unacceptable, but if these guidelines are adopted, I guarantee you that we’re going to have a problem when we look at how we reconcile our differences in the Legislature,” he said. Nu ez – along with Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Sherman Oaks, who chairs the budget subcommittee on transportation, and about 35 other legislators from the five counties – had sought more for the region. Recognizing the political difficulty of asking for 85 percent, Nu ez sought a compromise giving about $2.2 billion, or 73 percent, of the trade funds to the five counties. Ultimately, however, the commission upheld its staff recommendation that those counties get $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion, or about 50 to 57 percent. The vote was 8-1, with the commission’s only member from Los Angeles County, Larry Zarian of Glendale, as the lone dissenter. Zarian said his opposition was based on doubts about revenue projections of the available funding. Commission Chairman James Ghielmetti said the staff recommendation was the fairest-possible result of two days of talks. “We did our work and tried not to politicize it. Now it looks like it’s going to get politicized. The fact of the matter is everyone could use more money, and we don’t have more money,” Ghielmetti said. In L. A. County, projects potentially targeted for the funds include replacing the Gerald Desmond Bridge, creating grade separations along the Alameda Corridor East and improving freeway interchanges. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said extra funding is needed because cargo volume in the region is expected to triple in the next 10 years.”Any allocation that fails to recognize this special burden is unacceptable and demonstrates a lack of commitment to the millions of voters in Southern California who overwhelmingly supported Proposition 1B,” he said. San Diego was considered its own trade corridor region and got $250 million to $400 million. MediaNews Staff Writer Erik N. Nelson contributed to this report. [email protected] 916-446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more